I was brought up and knew my way around the 20th century when much to my surprise the 21st century came along and everyone started making up new confusing rules I was supposed to have memorized (long after it was too late to memorize anything).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Resignation of Suzanne Rich Folsom

Although I am an unlikely candidate to lament the departure of Suzanne Rich Folsom from the World Bank as the Director of the anti-corruption unit, I applaud all those who suffer penalties for doing the right thing. Suzanne Rich Folsom is one such person.

Understand, I hold neo-cons in contempt, putting it mildly. Suzanne was appointed by one of the neo-con leaders himself, Paul Wolfowitz, the man who not quite singlehandedly dragged us into a horrific war in Iraq (notice, I don't say with Iraq). That is why I read multiple reports on this to get a feel for the validity of it. Yet reports from the U.S. to India that appear to have no allegiance to the current Bush Administration are lamenting and crying 'foul' at the success of the forces of corruption within and without the World Bank against one person and some of her staff, who tried to expose and stop the waste.

Suzanne successfully exposed rampant fraud and has resigned after years of vilification by World Bank Staff and some of the bank's leadership. Yet, before being driven from her position as the Director of the anti corruption department of the World Bank, she had exposed that $9 out of $10 of the aid money given to India for development purposes is squandered or stolen by corrupt officials and middlemen. India is the largest borrower from the World Bank.

The Wall Street Journal of January 17th, 2008 states, "... filthy half built hospitals are certified as completed to project specification ... and ... ought to matter to a "bank" that purports to have the interests of the world's poor at heart and whose annual lending portfolio tops $30 billion dollars."

What matters to the staff at the World Bank is colluding with recipients to hush up corruption findings and continuing to lend to the same people. President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick promises to search for a successor.

Another 'Quality Control' person in the global banking body navigating Planet Earth into the future has been successfully attacked and driven from the scene, so that corruption as usual may continue to prevail.

Paul Volcker gave high marks to Ms. Folsom and in commenting urged that INT be 'nurtured and maintained' as an exemplary investigative organisation. Instead, it has been gutted. Mr. Zoellick pledged that the Volcker Report points the way on what has to be done, but has no credibility being that his bureacracy 'blew up' the INT.

It is unfortunate that our impressive and popularly supported bureacracies employ people who are never held responsible or liable for the horrendous crimes they set in motion with their greed. Hopefully, that is about to change for the better lest it changes for the worse.


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